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Garagiste Wine Festival Southern Exposure 2016: California Bubbles Headline Valentine's Weekend Event

Fourth annual wine festival features over 50 hard-to-find, cutting-edge, micro-production wineries from Santa Barbara County, and around California; returns to Solvang Veterans' Hall February 13th -- 14th; tickets on sale today
December 17, 2015

Paso Robles, CA – December 17, 2015 – Garagiste Events today announced that its 2016 Southern Exposure Garagiste Wine Festival will take place on Valentine’s Day weekend February 13th – 14th at the beautiful, Mission-style Veterans’ Memorial Hall in the heart of Solvang, California. In honor of Valentine’s Day weekend, the festival will feature micro-production local sparkling wines, in addition to handcrafted red and white vintages poured by hard-to-find, cutting-edge commercial artisan ‘garagiste’ wineries from Santa Barbara County, Santa Ynez Valley, Paso Robles, Napa, and more. Proceeds benefit The Garagiste Festival Scholarship Fund at Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Department. Tickets go on sale today at

Dubbed a ‘wildly exuberant and fun wine event’ by the LA Times, Southern Exposure features a ‘Grand Tasting’ on both Saturday and Sunday. Each Grand Tasting will be preceded by one of the festival’s signature tasting seminars, moderated by Garagiste Festival Co-founder and radio host Stewart McLennan and featuring expert winemakers.

Saturday’s seminar, led by Tercero Wines’ Larry Schaffer, will explore a variety of interpretations of an underappreciated grape beloved by many Central Coast winemakers – and a grape that the festival organizers consider to be one of the sexiest (and sexiest sounding) – Mourvedre.

Sunday’s seminar, sponsored by BubblyFest, will focus on Sparkling Wines, aka ‘Bubbles’ and feature some of the most exciting and ground-breaking small-production sparkling wines coming out of the Central Coast, including hot new winemaker, Halcyon Wines’ Tyler Elwell, who will be pouring their sparkling Cabernet Franc Rose.

“We are proud to continue our mission of bringing the best new garagiste winemakers to our audience and, just as importantly, bringing the story behind the wines straight from the winemakers themselves,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Doug Minnick. “Great wines and great winemakers in the beautiful countryside of the Santa Ynez Valley? We think this is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift…and one that could double as the perfect Christmas gift!”

Like all Garagiste Festivals (and unlike many larger wine festivals), Southern Exposure deliberately limits ticket sales to give attendees a comfortable and relaxed tasting experience with personal winemaker interaction. And as always, there will be high-quality wines, first-time and ‘soon-to-break-out’ discoveries, diverse varietals and, of course, a renegade and fun-loving spirit. Launched in Paso Robles in 2011, the non-profit Garagiste Festivals were the first to shine a light on the American garagiste winemakers, commercial artisan winemakers who handcraft under 1,500 cases a year and pay close, hands-on attention to every wine they make. The only festivals in the US dedicated to these innovative, hard-to-find, micro-production winemakers, the Garagiste Festivals have introduced hundreds of outstanding artisan winemakers to thousands of passionate wine consumers, members of the trade and media, raising the profiles of many of the winemakers nationally for the first time, and raising thousands of dollars for the education of future winemakers.

Tickets are very limited and Garagiste Festivals always sell out. To buy tickets and for more information, go to: For breaking festival news and special discounts, sign-up for our free newsletter, The Dirt at, or follow us on Twitter (@GaragisteFest) or Facebook.

Winemakers already scheduled to pour include: Archium Cellars, Ascension Cellars, Baehner Fournier Vineyards, Bevela Wines*, Brophy Clark Cellars, Carucci Wines, The Central Coast Group Project, Cloak & Dagger Wines, Clos des Amis, Coda Wines, Cordon Wines, Dascomb Cellars, El Lugar Wines, Graef Wines, Halcyon Wines*, Iter Wine*, Kessler Haak Vineyard, La Montagne Winery, Larner Vineyard, Levo Wines, Mallea Wines*, MCV Wines, Millesime Cellars*, C. Nagy Wines, Pace Family Wines, Press Gang Cellars, Rhythm Wines*, Ryan Cochrane Wines, Scott Cellars, Seagrape Wines, small + tall wines*, Stirm Wines*, STANGER/JP3, Tercero Wines, Travieso Winery, Trojak-Knier Winery, Weatherborne, West of Temprance*, Workman Ayer.

Garagiste Festival Sponsors include: Tonnellerie St. Martin, Glenn Burdette, Farm Credit West.

Hotel Sponsors include:, The Hamlet Inn.

For sponsorship info, email

*New to the Garagiste Festival

**Garagistes (garage-east) is a term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their “garages” (anything considered not a chateau), who refused to follow the “rules,” and is now a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world.

About The Garagiste Wine Festivals

The Garagiste Wine Festivals ( are the first and only wine festivals dedicated to the undiscovered and under-recognized American artisan ‘garagiste’ producers who are making some of the best, most exciting, handcrafted small-lot production wines in the world. Founded by fellow garagistes Stewart McLennan and Douglas Minnick, the Garagiste Festivals are committed to discovering the best and most innovative limited-production winemakers and promoting and showcasing them to a broad audience of discerning wine consumers. In addition to its flagship annual festival in Paso Robles, CA, the Garagiste Festival line-up includes Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure, featuring Santa Ynez Valley garagistes; the Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure, in Los Angeles; garagiste mini-tastings presented from So Cal to Tahoe; winemaker dinners, a newsletter, garagiste profiles and more. The festivals were named one of the ‘Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations’ in the world by ABC News,* “one of the premier wine events of the year,” by the LA Times and “Best Festival” by Sunset Magazine’s ‘Best of the West.’ The festivals are produced by Garagiste Events, a non-profit dedicated to furthering the education of future winemakers and those training for employment within the wine industry. Proceeds from the festivals support the Garagiste Festival Scholarship fund of the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo Wine and Viticulture Department.

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